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Summary Chapter 23

Miles cautions Edward to hold his tongue, which tends to be insulting, and things shall go well. Miles tells the crowd that is surrounding them that Edward is mad.
 
A constable appears, and Miles identifies himself as the boy’s guardian. The woman whose package was stolen follows, along with the crowd of onlookers. Edward is defiant until Miles reminds him that the laws were made by the king. How will the citizens respect the laws if the king cannot?
 
The woman testifies that it was Edward who stoled from her. When her bundles is unrolled, it reveals a well dressed pig. The judge and Hendon become disturbed, for this high priced item will result in Edward being hung. The judge orders the courtroom cleared.
 
The judge begs the woman to show mercy, for the law states that if the value of an item stolen is 13 pence, the thief hangs for it. The woman doesn’t want him to hang and agrees to lower the account as to what it is worth.
 
A constable follows the woman out and offers to buy the pig for the reduced amount she stated it was worth. She refuses, but he points out she was under oath. If she recants, he’ll drag her into court and the boy will hang. The woman agrees and goes away crying.
 
The judge gives Edward a lecture, orders him some jail time, and a flogging. Miles acts like he is agreeing with the punishment. Edward is indignant and refuses it. Miles asks Edward to trust him and to be patient.
 
Mark Twain